More doors re­open for WA grow­ers

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Stu­art McGuckin

There is more re­lief for South West potato farm­ers af­ter last month’s an­nounce­ment that South Aus­tralia will re­open its doors to West Aus­tralian pota­toes.

The state is the last to restart im­port­ing WA pro­duce al­most two years af­ter the East­ern States im­ple­mented a ban fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of tomato potato psyl­lid in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

Potato Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Western Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Si­mon Moltoni said it was a sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive for sup­pli­ers of seed and fresh pota­toes.

“There is a de­mand in South Aus­tralia right now for cer­tain va­ri­eties and it forms an im­por­tant part of our mar­ket over­all,” he said. “When the out­break of TPP oc­curred and we lost mar­ket ac­cess it meant that if we had a sur­plus of pota­toes farm­ers would just plough them in.

“This gives us a mar­ket we can sell into and even when we get high sup­ply there is still an op­por­tu­nity to get a re­turn.”

He said it also gave the WA in­dus- try a chance to cap­i­talise on a short­age of sup­ply that oc­curred in the east coast mar­ket.

“Western Aus­tralia is a sup­plier of pota­toes for 12 months of the year,” he said.

“The Myalup strip and Bus­sel­ton area sup­ply through spring, au­tumn and win­ter, while the Man­jimup and Pem­ber­ton area sup­ply through sum­mer and into Au­tumn.

“Most states are un­able to do that so there is mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties for both seed and fresh pota­toes into those other mar­kets.”

Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alannah MacTier­nan said the State Gov­ern­ment had placed an em­pha­sis on bolstering plant biose­cu­rity as soon as it came to power last year.

“A mam­moth ef­fort has gone into prov­ing that WA is free of the CLso bac­te­ria – more than 10,000 psyl­lids have been tested by the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment,” she said. “That ef­fort has paid off and it is good to see other ju­ris­dic­tions have fol­lowed the science and re­opened in­ter­state trade.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.